In a recent survey released by Forbes Magazine, Washington DC was named the best place to invest in Real Estate in 2009. The turmoil in the financial and credit markets coupled with 4 years of falling home prices have created a “perfect storm” for first-time homebuyers and investors. While the Forbes article focused on Real Estate Investment, this current Real Estate market in the DC area (which includes Maryland and Northern Virginia) provides an opportunity for a wide spectrum of home ownership not seen in the area in more than half a decade.
Home prices are affordable again for many home purchasers, and coupling that with interest rates hovering at or below the 5% mark really makes for an attractive purchase proposition. However, because of the decline in home prices, many individuals who currently own their home are unable to take advantage of these tremendous market conditions as they are hamstrug by the loss of equity in their asset.
Enter the first-time homebuyer.
First-time homebuyers were essentially priced out of the market during the recent Real Estate bubble of the early to mid 2000’s. Many watched with chagrin as prices kept going up, and up, and up, and up—and kept right on renting. Now that home prices have declined and interest rates are more than attractive, first-time buyers are on the move. This group of purchasers are not saddled with existing homes that harbor dramatic losses in equity, and are able to consider a wide selection of inventory while making a decision.
Many of these folks began recognizing this unique opportunity as early as November 2008, and market activity for this group of consumers has picked up dramatically as we head deeper into 2009. The way I see it, 2009 will be the year of the savvy first-time homebuyer—the homebuyer who seizes this chance at homewonership and rides this “perfect storm” of market conditions into 2010 and beyond.
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